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'The Bachelor's' Jason Mesnick: 'Everyone thinks I’m dragging Melissa over the coals'

Cropmesnick It’s going to be a rough week for “The Bachelor’s” Jason Mesnick.

On Monday night, rampant online rumors concerning the show’s twist ending –- one that would potentially brand Mesnick a cad -– were confirmed when he retracted his proposal to Melissa Rycroft, delivered in the last moments of the finale, in favor of the runner-up, Molly Malaney.

What’s worse for Mesnick –- but good for ABC -– is that more than 17.6 million tuned in to watch Melissa get the shaft on the “After the Final Rose” special, making it the most-watched in the franchise’s seven-year history.

Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the roast early. “Is your arm sore from handing out and taking back roses?” he asked.

In an interview with The Times on Tuesday afternoon, Mesnick explained that he had, in fact, ended his relationship with Rycroft on the phone a week before the taping. “If you watched carefully, she wasn’t wearing her ring,” he said.

Either way, the jilted Rycroft seems quite unhappy, and though she might have been able to turn her sympathetic position into even more camera time as the next “Bachelorette,” ABC confirmed that second runner-up Jillian Harris would wear that mantle.

But back to Mesnick. While “The Bachelor” has been at the center of controversy before -- Season 11’s Brad Womack, for instance, rejected all of his options and was booed by the audience throughout his “After the Final Rose” -- but dumping a girl you just proposed to on national TV? Mesnick better have his flak jacket ready. Here he goes:

Was there any discussion between you and Melissa about how this might play out on TV since you say you had ended things on the phone beforehand?
No. Her response had been, “How do you want me to react to that?” I wasn’t going to coach her. I just told her that we were going to talk about things again [on the show] and however she felt is how she was going to react. I’m never going to tell anyone what to say.
Are you surprised by the backlash against you?
I don’t know if the public expected me to just pretend like I’m in a good happy relationship. I mean, is that what people really wanted to see? Because that was the other option, but never a real option for me. It sucks that everyone thinks I’m dragging Melissa over the coals right in front of everybody because it’s not true. What’s funny is that everybody loves the fact that I break up with somebody every week in the regular part of the show ... and now I'm being judged.

Why ultimately didn’t you ask Molly to marry you the first time?
What scared me the most about Molly is that we had this young, fun, friendship relationship with a lot of passion, and people who have been together for a long time all say, "The passion is the first thing to go." In my regular everyday life I wouldn’t have stopped dating any one of [the final three]. I would have gone and tried to experience more with each of them.

At what point did you change your mind about Melissa? What was the turning point?
It was right after the holidays. We spent a week together during Christmas and I felt differently. She didn’t do anything wrong, but we had this great communication style where we could talk about anything while we were on the show, and then all of a sudden we’re together for longer periods of time afterwards and we just couldn’t talk about stuff. ... I was realizing that we didn’t have a great friendship, and that was hard for me to face.

Why did you go on a TV show to find love in front of millions? Why not just use match.com?

It sounded like the ultimate dating experience. I mean, if they’re going to go across the country and find 25 great matches -– if you’re going to talk about match.com –- it’s better than that! It’s very unique.

What do you think your 4-year-old son, Ty, who met both Melissa and Molly, will learn about how to treat women from watching “The Bachelor”?
I don’t know. I think that I want him to look at me and just say, "My daddy had this crazy experience and it’s OK to do some things differently from other people. It’s OK that relationships don’t work because that’s part of real life." I want him to see how real it was and how hard it was for me and that how much all that pain was worth it in the end.

Would you advise he find love the same way?

Would I recommend for Ty to do this? I hope Ty would be the type of person to think about doing something different, absolutely. I wouldn’t say necessarily a TV show.

-- Denise Martin

Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (83)

According to Jason ... "What’s funny is that everybody loves the fact that I break up with somebody every week in the regular part of the show ... and now I'm being judged." Uh, that is the premise of the show, Jason, so we don't judge you for that. We judge you because you PROPOSED to Melissa, told her you were "completely in love with her and wanted to spend the rest of your life with her," when you could have just picked her and said let's see how things go. You didn't have to PROPOSE. Also, how ironic that you were upset with Deanna for letting you get down on one knee to propose before she rejected you. Don't you think that what you did to Melissa was MUCH, MUCH worse?

Melissa can thank her lucky stars she didn't end up with Mr. All About Me. He didn't even care what he put his son through and that's the ultimate. You can't build your happiness off of someone's unhappiness. Molly, you are a fool; Jason is simply a cad.

I have watched the bachelor/bachelorette for SOOOO many seasons and enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everybody knows the odds of finding true love on this show are very slim to none and you proved it when you couldn't even find a hand full to talk about their success together on the last "Girls Tell All". You cannot go on with this forever, hurting peoples fellings on national television and LOVING IT! Or are they all actors/actresses? This WAS one of my favorite shows but to do what you did to those girls was cheap and Brad's expressions during it all was disgusting. Apparently, this show has not worked for the ones on it so start a new show and let the Bachelor / Bachelorette go. I WILL NOT WATCH IT AGAIN!

I think that Jason is a total toad! And Melissa deserves better anyway! She can do waaaay better than his ugly, big nosed, weird kissing, gross, gag me with a spoon self!

You have got to be kidding me Jason. there are more tactful ways to handle things with your fiancee after spending the holidays together. I can def see why you are DIVORCED.

I don't understand why he didn't try to make it work with Melissa longer. I think under the circumstances, he should have stuck it out for at least 6 months, even if it was a struggle. I mean this "follow my heart" excuse is starting to annoy everyone. He should start with having a heart and following through. I wouldn't touch this guy with a ten foot pole. Molly should run.

Jason - It's not merely that you changed your mind and broke it off. We all change our minds. It's that you did it on TV. I don't care that you were under contract. Who signs a contract to control his personal life?

That's your character flaw first and foremost. You want to be famous before you want to be truly in love and satisfied in a relationship. You want to see where this will take you next more than you want stability for your family. You want to be a pawn for ABC and its ratings rat race, at the expense of hurting yourself and someone else.

Not that you're taking advice, but you are really juvenile. How about proposing to NO ONE and learning something about yourself first - as a man, a potential partner and a father? A man is partially defined by his relationship with others - taking care of others' hearts is part of that. You haven't come close to figuring that out. You're in it for you at the expense of others. You don't seem malicious so I think taking your time will help you better define your character.

35-year-old single woman from Los Angeles

When are women going to stand up together? Men do this, in part, because we allow it. Melissa was dumped for Molly, Molly knows this and gleefully accepts. Yes, she feels bad for Melissa. But how about Molly thinking maybe that this may be part of a major character flaw in this man that he can treat women this way and on public television, no less. How about we protect each other as women first and wait for the good men to come along instead of taking leftovers?

When we take cheaters and beaters and liars, we are giving the impression that we disregard what they have done to other women. And those other women are our sisters, mothers, nieces and daughters - when it happens to them we are furious for them. Let's not accept it of any man, even when we don't know the other woman. Let's take care of each other first. Sounds corny, I know, but what's so bad about that?

I watch Bachelor for the chance of a happy ending. This show was particularly awful because to start with, you had a questionable bachelor who was divorced for some reason (that we were never made aware of - and what did he do for a living?) and he was not universally attractive. We had to watch his unattractive self kissing a bunch of so-so women and we did not even get the reward of a happy ending. It was just a mess. When that pushy Molly said to him "She will leave you, I know you made a mistake you will regret this the rest of your life" it was like Molly put a curse on him. What is she a witch? So Jason seemed scared by that and did not give Melissa a chance. I hope this show gets back to choosing really good bachelor candidates who have that dreamy quality to make the happy ending at least a possibility. This was just the worst of the worst. You will lose a lot of viewers.

Jason u are so full of it.....u knew all along u were going to pick molly and she knew when she got back what was going down...u both did losey acting jobs on the final rose...no women in her right mind would take back someone who dumped them on national tv.......and to do that to melissa is unforgiveable.....u are no better than deanna..... but as far as u and molly it won't last....just like all the rest of them...........

Oh please, I am tired of seeing every one complain about Jason's decisions. This happens all the time. What is worse people marry and then get divorced 6 months later to 6 years later which hurts a lot more than some "indecent proposal". At least the guy had the courage to say it is not working for him. And I give him and Molly a lot of credit to see beyond all the hype and see the possibility of making something really good happen. Those of us who have been living life know what it is like to be in a relationship which was once hot and then turns cold. You do have nothing in common to talk about. What happened? Who knows and who cares. The key is to get out such a relationship and eventually find that magical one where you are "best friends". Then the chemistry will last assuming you stay true to each other on all levels. I think Meliissa acted with great humulity and courage, too. Every one involved in this adventure took a chance. It is a flash in the great scheme of things and a learning experience for all. Will molly and Jason live happily ever after - lets tune in and find out five years from now. I hope so. But the odds are against them and even more so since being in the limelight puts a pressure on the relationship that none of us have in ours. It is great entertainment and millions tuned in because they are curious as to what happened but also because we have all been there and done that. Typically we all have been on both ends just like Jason. He is a human being like the rest of us. Granted he is not Mr. Insightful as to explaining his actions but what guy typically is. It is easier to leave your good bye in an email or post-it note than to try to sit some one down to say it is over. So I give him credit for doing it in front of millions of viewers. That took courage or at the very least some narcissism. Maybe we all can learn from their experience and make better choices in our lives whether they be our friends or the one's we love. There some common themes throughout this finale which is indeed the real thing for all of us. I do not think it would be so emotional for all us writing about it if it was not. Lets wish them all well but more importantly lets make sure we do even better in our lives.

Would it be MOST hilarious if you get dumped on by Molly (IF SHE IS SMART)
Hopefully she could do it on TV and watch you pour on more of yoru fake tears for TV purposes and PITY.
I do wonder how Ty's mother let's you drag him inot your selfish all about me world.
You poor pitiful person, my guess is youhave been like lhis all along, and just wanted you 15 minutes of fame, at anyone's expense. Deanna dumped you (SMART) - Just a fun chain reaction.

I do have pretty good word, (but I wasnt there) that you were communicating with Molly all along, starting 1 week after you were with Melissa, no wonder it didn't work!!
You ddn't forget about Molly because she and you were still hooking up on the weekends that Melisaa was unavailable, and Melissa knew. See smart woman know these things - regardless, I hope you and the cad Molly live miserablly ever after, and as for the Bachelor.. or the Bachlorette, not watching again! Big Crock of CRAP - you yourself blamed the producers and the script of the show in your emails to Melissa after dumping Melissa!! (Check emails at Access Hollywood) I think they are there now as well.

JASON = pitiful LOSER

Poor TY!!!
I am glad he has his mother's influence - at least he has a chance to bekind and caring and not plastic and self absorbed.

DF is absolutely right! Molly is in for a rude awakening because she is setting herself up to have Jason do the same to her as he did to Melissa. It's like the woman who cheats with a married man...she knows exactly what he's made of and shouldn't be surprised when he then goes on to cheat on her with a third fool. Molly should have raked Jason over the coals when she had the chance.

Am I the only person in America who thinks Jason did the right thing? He loves one person more than another, but you just expected him to just make a failing relationship look good so that you feel warm and fuzzy in your hearts? Come ON! You expected him not to propose to Melissa? Then you would have roasted him anyway for being like Brad. People's feelings change all the time. Women can be so embarrassing. Men are screwed if they do follow their hearts, and screwed if they don't. It's ridiculous!

Jason is a sociopath. And he looked like Pee Wee Herman in that blue suit. If I were a publicist I'd be hightailing it to his ex-wife. There's a mint to be made on her story.

I dunno. I only watched a couple of episodes, but it seemed clear to me when he cried so hard at letting Molly go, that he really clicked with her. They definitely had a real, energetic vibe together. It seemed like he initially went with the "safe" option (Melissa), but that vibe he really had with Molly eventually won out.

I don't think he's a cad. He tried his best, he took it seriously, and he ended it as soon as he realized it wasn't working. Like he said, he would have spent more time with all three of the last girls, to make up his mind better. His artificially-shortened contractual schedule probably contributed to the problem with Melissa.

Oh please. The entire show is an artificial construct. Compressed time frame. Exotic locales. Simultaneous multiple partners. And a clear dynamic of competition (whether the ladies genuinely love/like the bachelor, it's clear that they can't stand the thought of losing).

To assume that either or both of the final couple really know how the other party truly acts in everyday situations (late to work, kid bawling, taxes overdue, whatever) is completely absurd. How could Jason know what Melissa would really be like once the cameras stopped rolling, the helicopters stopped whizzing them over Norwegian fjords, the wine stopped being poured, and there was no more competition to beat out? Please, ladies, get real.

He found that the private Melissa was not the same as the public on-camera Melissa that he had come to believe would always be there. He realized he had made a mistake. And he took action so BOTH of them could get on with their lives. He did the right thing. Period.

bachelor turned into a toad or soap?
you do not hurt anyone one on national tv, why didnt you do it private

and chris harris find another job, for allowing this on nat. tv
i think you just lost a lot of fans

ban the bachelor/bachelorette, not watchin anymore

Melissa, You are a beutiful young woman and you deserve someone that will respect you and love you for who you are no matter what. I have watched the show from the very begining and after there were just the three of you I knew that you would be the one to be hurt the most becuase you were the one who showed the most affection toward him and usually people like us end up getting hurt the most. You did a great job of expressing yourself tastfully and you walked away with your dignaty. I wish you the best of luck and you will always have a friend here.

New Jersey

Let's be reasonable here people and stop being biased against Jason based on our past history with men. If you've watched the show in the past you know that both Jason and Melissa were under contract to play out their relationship on the "After" show. I don't understand why everyone here is laying the complete blame for this on Jason's shoulders.

Also, if you paid attention to Melissa's body language when she walkt on stage you'd have noticed that she was not behaving like someone who was in love and about to be blind sided. I believe she was very aware of what was about to come and she grandstanded and like most of us in her position tried to "find a reason" to explain and or justify why he was no longer in love with her that she could understand because she didn't want to accept what he was telling her.

Just about everyone has been in this position at one time or another and know that once the other person has realized that he/she isn't in love with us there's nothing to fight for, the deal is done and the party is over. The best thing to do is cut your losses, deal with the pain, and move on.

I don't begrudge Jason and Molly their relationship if they're the real deal and have found love together. Life is too short and the dating world is too difficult to expect two people who clearly love each other and have a strong foundation to go their separate ways to please the greater public. I applaud Jason for being brave enough to tell the truth and not be a martyr for the sake of public opinion and I applaud Molly for following her heart and not holding a grudge because she wasn't picked first.

Both of these people have a clear conscious and good heads on their shoulders and I hope that their relationship and love lasts the test of time!

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